Ah, to be young and newly married and looking for that perfect first place to live! Such much fun, so many concerns—some of which are will we get the apartment we really want and will we get along with our new neighbors?
Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse are an ordinary young couple who believe they’ve found their dream place at a gothic looking, pre-war building called The Bramford. It’s large and surprisingly inexpensive. Despite being warned that The Bramford has a disturbing history involving witchcraft and murder, they choose to overlook this and settle into their nice, large apartment. Hey, you can’t really blame them; cheap, expansive pre-war NYC apartments are hard to find!
Getting along with the neighbors doesn’t seem to be a problem either, since Minnie and Roman Castevet, an eccentric elderly couple in the nearby apartment, seems to take an interest in the young pair.
But Rosemary and Guy seem unaware that the interest these sweet senior citizens have, along with their bizarre group of friends, is a rather disturbing one. As leaders of a Satanic cult, they want Rosemary to mate with the Devil himself and bear the Antichrist. Talk about neighbors from Hell!
Rosemary finds them a bit silly and absurd, but Guy, a struggling actor, begins paying them frequent visits. Shortly after befriending the Castevets, Guy’s theatrical rival suddenly goes blind, and Guy is given that actor’s important part in a stage play. Through the Castevets, he has a signed, sealed contract with the Devil, and now he must give something in return—his wife.
Guy convinces Rosemary that it is time to conceive their first child, and after a blurry night filled with hallucinogenic drinks and raw sex, she conceives. All Hell, pun intended, breaks loose when Rosemary discovers that Guy is not the father of her unborn child. It was the Devil who shared her bed the night of conception.
I remember reading this book on a rainy, dreary winter’s day. As darkness began to fall, the dead silence in the house became a terrifying accompaniment to the slowly unfolding horror in the story. I was afraid to move from my chair because somewhere in my mind, I just knew the evil, smirking Minnie Castevet was lurking in the next room! A good, scary book can play tricks on your usually sensible mind.
When the original film was made by Roman Polanski in 1968, I was very happy to see that it was faithful down to every detail of what the author, Ira Levin, had written. Mia Farrow was the perfect Rosemary Woodhouse, and Ruth Gordon the thoroughly menacing Minnie Castevet of my imagining.
If you are looking to be deliciously scared this Halloween, get a copy of Rosemary’s Baby and begin reading it in now. To make it even scarier, start reading at twilight with all the lights low. Then, on All Hallow’s Eve, watch the original movie. Delightfully frightening; don’t say you weren’t warned!
To order a copy of Rosemary's Baby, visit:
Kristen Houghton is the author of nine top-selling novels, including For I Have Sinned and Grave Misgivings, books 1 and 2 in the best-selling new series, A Cate Harlow Private Investigation. Book 3 in the series, Unrepentant: Pray for Us Sinners, will be published Fall of 2016. She is hard at work on a new series that features a paranormal investigator with distinct powers of her own.
Houghton is also the author of two non-fiction books and numerous short stories which appear in popular anthologies.